The Town of Chesterfield has initiated a fundraising campaign to help the small Alabama town of Hackleburg recover from the deadly April 27 tornado. Seventy-five percent of Hackleburg was destroyed in the storm. Over 30 Hackleburg residents lost their lives in the EF5 tornado.
Chesterfield and Hackleburg, though thousands of miles a part, are very similar in size. Chesterfield has a population 1,472 while Hackleburg had 1,420 residents according to the 2010 Census.
“Imagine your home gone, your place of employment gone, your church gone, downtown gone, schools gone,” Chesterfield Mayor John Douglas said. “Now, imagine all of that through the eyes of a child.”
Chesterfield’s efforts will focus on providing joy for Hackleburg children. Money raised will be used to help with a project to benefit the town’s children – a piece of playground equipment or children’s books for the local library, for example.
“As time passes we will consult with local officials in Hackleburg about exactly how best our donations can help their young,” Douglas said. “The American Red Cross, Federal and State governments are addressing Hackleburg’s basic needs. We want to help with those extras that add so much to children’s lives and that we often take for granted.”
Residents from throughout the area are encouraged to help with this effort. Those wishing to help with “Help For Hackleburg,” may mail checks (made payable to Town of Chesterfield – Hackleburg) to PO Box 350, Chesterfield, SC 29709-0350. Donations may also be dropped off at Town Hall, 112 Main Street.
The Town is also encouraging area citizens to donate to the American Red Cross to help with recovery from the disaster. Those wishing to make a donation to the American Red Cross may mail their checks to: Town of Chesterfield, PO Box 350, Chesterfield, SC 29709-0350 (make checks payable to the American Red Cross) or bring them to Town Hall. The Town will promptly forward all checks to the Red Cross. By sending donations to the Red Cross to the Town, a total of all support from the community may be tabulated.
“Local residents and businesses responded generously with over $6,000 in donations several years back when we adopted the town of Greensburg, Kansas, after a similar tornado disaster,” Douglas said. “A recent study found that Chesterfield County has the highest incidence of tornadoes of any county in the central Carolinas. We have been fortunate to escape major damage for many years and by helping Hackleburg we can express our gratitude.”
Citizens, church and civic groups are also encouraged to volunteer to help in this effort. For more information, contact Mayor John Douglas at 623-9114.